My girlfriend is a flirt. Don’t get me wrong—her exuberant personality, her loving nature, and the way she expresses her emotions physically are all reasons why I fell for her in the first place. She has so many great qualities, but I’m starting to feel uncomfortable with how much she flirts with people who aren’t me.
My goal isn’t to control her or tell her what she can or cannot do, but I’ve told her how her flirting makes me feel and I’ve said outright that I would feel much better if she didn’t flirt so much and be so physical with others (tickling them, poking them, hugging them a bunch of times) when I’m in the room. I just wish she cared enough about me to stop.
Do I have any other options left, Di? I’ve tried direct communication, but she tells me that it’s harmless and that she’s only attracted to me, so I should stop worrying. I truly care for her, but since she isn’t responding to my feelings and isn’t willing to compromise, is it possible I’m just wasting my time?
—Feeling Like a Big Pile of Shit
You’re being reasonable by expressing how you feel to your lady friend and expecting her to take your feelings into account. It’s not like you’re asking your gal to change herself completely—just to keep her flirting focused on you when the two of you are together. You’re being direct, fair, and understanding of her nature—and she’s being dismissive.
I think the fact that you’re at a point where you’re asking if you’re wasting your time shows that this relationship might not be meant to be. Before you give up all hope, though, there are two things you can do. First, ask yourself if this is something you can get over. Although I absolutely don’t condone your babe’s flirtations when they come at the expense of your feelings, is there a reason you don’t believe her when she says it’s harmless? Is the way you feel partially a result of some of your own insecurities in the relationship? If you want to make things work with this dame in particular, you might have to be the one to change.
While I don’t think your discomfort and expectations for the relationship are unreasonable, your girlfriend seems to think so. Before taking her straight to Dumpsville, however, try making one last-ditch effort to solve the problem. Make sure you’re calm and that she knows you’re serious, then tell her that while you care about the relationship and want to make things work, you can’t be with someone who isn’t on the same page about what’s appropriate and what’s not. Sure, it will sting if your sweetie doesn’t care enough to change, but you’ll be better off knowing now and finding yourself someone who’s only interested in batting her eyelashes at you.
A while back I met this guy at a party. We hit it off, exchanged numbers, went on a couple of dates—you could say things were going pretty well. One day during reading week I got a text from his phone, written by another girl. Turns out he met up with his ex back home and now they’re thinking of getting back together, so she sent me a warning text to stay away from her man.
I was shocked and a little more than hurt by this, so I decided to stop seeing this guy. I’m not interested in being the other woman. Anyway, he texted me a couple of days later explaining everything and apologizing profusely for what happened, so we agreed to meet up in person to talk. When we saw each other, I could feel myself falling back into the same level of comfort I had built up with him over our previous hangouts and I could see he still liked me, but I decided to end it anyway.
Now I’m sitting here regretting my decision, because I think my feelings for him may have been more profound than I originally thought. Why am I feeling like this, Di? Is this just dumper’s remorse? Will I get over it in time? Should I maybe keep my options open when it comes to him? I know I did the right thing, so why doesn’t it feel like I did?
—Confused and Heartbroken in Ottawa
Sometimes I get questions from readers that I’m just not sure how to answer without more information. The key piece of info I’m missing from you is what your guy said when the two of you met up in person. While he was apologizing profusely, did he tell you that he had decided to end things permanently with his ex in order to see where his relationship with you might go, or is he interested in seeing both his old girlfriend and his new romantic interest (you) casually?
Regardless, I can offer some advice. Normally, a gut instinct isn’t wrong. Despite the fact that you were pretty into this dude, something still didn’t feel quite right, and you ended it after giving him the chance to explain himself in person. When you say “I know I did the right thing,” that tells me that this guy is trouble and that deep-down, you feel you made the best decision possible. I say, stay away.
Your reaction is pretty normal. You met someone, felt good hanging out with him, and felt he had potential—then things ended pretty abruptly. What you’re feeling isn’t necessarily regret that you turned him down, but regret that the whole situation went down as it did. Give yourself a few weeks to get over this—it will take time. Go to more parties, meet more gents, go on more dates. If after a month or two you still find yourself thinking about the guy you dumped, then and only then might it be time to re-evaluate the situation, contact him, and ensure you both have the same expectations before jumping into anything again. I hope, though, that you’ll have a much better thing going with someone else before then.